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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 12I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 12’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 418.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Firrðisk vætr, sás varði
víð lǫnd, Breta stríðir
bleyði firrðr við bráðan
bekkdóm Heðins rekka.
Hann lét of sǫk sanna
(sverðjalmr óx þar) verða
— skilit frá ek — (fyr skylja)
skóð mǫrg roðin blóði.

{Stríðir Breta}, firrðr bleyði, sás varði víð lǫnd, firrðisk vætr við {bráðan {{Heðins rekka} bekk}dóm}. Hann lét mǫrg skóð verða roðin blóði of sanna sǫk; {sverðjalmr} óx þar fyr skylja; ek frá skilit.
‘The harmer of Britons [RULER = Óláfr], shunning cowardice, who defended broad lands, shunned nothing in the headlong judgement of the bench of the champions of Heðinn <legendary hero> [(lit. ‘bench-judgement of the champions of Heðinn’) = Hjaðningar > SHIELD > BATTLE]. He caused many harmers [weapons] to become reddened with blood in a true cause; sword-screech [BATTLE] grew there before the king; I was informed clearly.

notes and context

Óláfr courts danger by showing himself to his enemies, as his valour commands him, despite their overwhelming numbers.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld, 3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa 11: AI, 161, BI, 152, Skald I, 83, NN §475; SHI 2, 315-16, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 276 (ch. 252), Flat 1860-8, I, 487.


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